Do We Want Short Term Rentals and Dual Occupancies?
Tony and Pat have raised the issue of why we like to live in North Arm Cove and the changes that will happen if dual occupancies are allowed.
There are three types of dual occupancy- duplexes, detached separate dwellings and granny flats. Governments of all persuasions like them because they provide affordable housing and they make the best use of existing services such as water, electricity and sewerage, meaning that greenfield areas do not have to be opened up.
We live in a special area without two of those major services, water and sewerage. In addition, we are adjacent to the Port Stephens waterway which needs protection from land-based pollution. I do not think that we are in an area that is suitable for dual occupancies and we should be campaigning to get our zoning changed. I would allow granny flats with their size restrictions, but not the other types of dual occupancy.
There is also the problem of why landowners want to build dual occupancies. The main reason is “for profit”, to rent. This could either be long or short-term rentals. Dual occupancies exacerbate any problems because they fill up building blocks and bring neighbours into closer proximity.
Short term rentals have become popular in the last year, but they often come at the cost of the amenity of the neighbours. People renting holiday houses want a good time with friends and family. The problems they create for the neighbours vary from loss of privacy, excessive noise, flooding septics, smelly overfilled garbage bins and woofy dogs to golf balls being hit into our waterway. A lot of the time, houses have too many guests compared to the size of the house. In some instances, there are even campers in the yard. These types of activities are not the once off parties of families who live in a house, but a new party every weekend. Many owners and agents fail to sort out the riffraff from the good tenants and the whole neighbourhood suffers.
Owners have the right to rent out their properties. However, there also should be some consideration of the impact this has on their neighbours. There are several questions we need to consider.
- Do we want dual occupancies?
- If dual occupancies are allowed, should there be restrictions on them being used for short term rentals?
- Should there be tighter controls on short term rentals, whether dual occupancies or single dwellings?
Midcoast Council is our governing body. Please write to Council and make your opinions known.